We have previously posted about the SEC lawsuit against LBRY. In that post, we noted that while the crypto community is rightfully focused on the Ripple case to see how the SEC will fare in court on enforcements alleging cryptocurrency offerings are a security, a lesser-known case may provide clarity first. And today that came to be. The federal district court in the LBRY case granted summary judgment in favor of the SEC. In so ruling, the Court found no reasonable trier of fact could reject the SEC’s contention that LBRY offered LBC as a security, and LBRY does not have a triable defense that it lacked fair notice.

Continue Reading Federal Court Rules LBRY Offered Security and Rejects Arguments SEC Did Not Provide Fair Notice

On September 26, 2022, New York Attorney General Letitia James (the “NYAG”) took definitive action in the wake of her warning last year that crypto lending platforms must register with her office or face legal action, filing a complaint against Nexo Inc. and Nexo Capital, Inc. (collectively “Nexo”) alleging that Nexo violated New York’s Martin Act and Executive Law by acting as an unregistered securities and/or commodities broker-dealer within the state. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Nexo improperly offered and sold securities and commodities by allowing users to purchase, sell, deposit, trade, borrow against, and earn interest on virtual currency, while unregistered. The complaint further alleges that Nexo made various misrepresentations regarding its operations. The NYAG seeks an injunction, disgorgement, restitution, and a permanent bar prohibiting Nexo from purchasing or selling securities or commodities in New York.

Continue Reading NYAG Delivers on Promise to Rein In Unregistered Crypto Lending with New Suit

While the crypto community is rightfully focused on the Ripple case to see how the SEC will fare in court on enforcements alleging cryptocurrency offerings are a security, a lesser-known case may provide clarity first. The SEC’s suit against LBRY is scheduled for trial in September 2022.

Continue Reading Securities and Exchange Commission V. LBRY; Is Your Crypto Project Illegal?

In an apparent follow up to President Biden’s March Executive Order on Digital Assets (which we previously discussed here), this week, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a similar executive order aiming to foster responsible innovation, bolster California’s innovation economy, and strengthen consumer protection through creating a transparent regulatory and business environment for Web3 companies.  Newsom’s executive order credits Biden’s executive order as paving the way for the assessment of key issues raised by crypto-assets and sets California on a path to harmonize its nascent crypto regulatory framework with forthcoming federal rules and guidelines and, hopefully, create regulatory clarity for businesses and consumers.
Continue Reading Governor Newsom Signs Blockchain Executive Order

This January, Adrienne A. Harris was confirmed as superintendent of New York’s Department of Financial Services, which administers New York’s BitLicense program, among others.  In a March 28 interview, Harris discussed the BitLicense program in detail and addressed some of its longstanding issues, including its slow response times to applicants and updating some of the outdated regulatory and operational aspects of the program.
Continue Reading New York’s Superintendent of Financial Services Addresses BitLicense Delays

In a novel transaction for the blockchain and mortgage industries, a blockchain-focused financial services company and an investment firm announced the completion of a transaction involving the origination of digital mortgage loans and transfer of ownership via blockchain technology. The eNote digital mortgage assets were originated on the Provence Blockchain and registered on the financial services company’s Digital Asset Registration Technologies (DART) platform. DART monitors blockchain-based asset transfers and is intended to enable an efficient alternative to the existing loan tracking database systems.
Continue Reading Recent Transaction Transfers Ownership of Digital Mortgage Loans via Blockchain

On February 8, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing titled, “Digital Assets and the Future of Finance: The President’s Working Group on Financial Markets” to consider legislative recommendations from the President’s Working Group (PWG) report on stablecoins (we previously discussed the report in an earlier Consumer Finance & FinTech Blog post here).   
Continue Reading House Financial Services Committee Focuses on PWG Stablecoin Report